Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Cooking, Politics, and Bestiality

I attended a committee meeting tonight with paperwork and a request for funding for further work, and left with my role taken over by another, simply and efficiently. What a mix of feelings I felt!

I felt afraid I would be seen as incompetent for having simply done the bare minimum requirements for the role. I felt resentment towards myself because I hadn’t seen any need to do more just to keep up appearances.

I felt dislike for the officious woman who took over the role. I had once witnessed her verbally attack a woman in front of an entire group, and since that essentially mean act I had not trusted her, had avoided speaking to her, and basically learnt my lesson about her character flaws. But I suppressed these feelings of distrust and dislike because she got the results, and never mind that she was inconsiderate towards me by not mentioning beforehand her actions. I can’t reasonably expect consideration from her. Neither is it my place to judge.

Afterwards, I walked with Ryan and Darrel, both silly kids in a way, both in a program together so in many respects peas in a pod, and I happened to mention my distrust of verbally aggressive women, and so Darrel decided to cheer me up by showing me a bestiality clip on his mobile phone, while Ryan laughed with suppressed shame and embarrassment. I gave it back to him before it finished playing. Approving of it would have denigrated me as much as it did women.

But the science fiction writer in me wanted to discuss whether (non-uplifted) animals are capable of consent to a sexual act, and if animals as a class are not capable of consent whether bestiality should be considered a sex crime, a perversion, or animal abuse. All of this I restrained myself from saying; they just wanted to share a joke as a way of lightening up the mood after the committee meeting. I am grateful they tried to distract me from my mood.

At Victoria Square we ran into Dave, a newbie. I joined Dave and said farewell to Darrel and Ryan, and Dave and I walked up King William Street as the other two went down Wakefield.

Dave is interesting. Intelligent, articulate. We talked politics. He wanted to discuss specific injustices with emotion. I wanted to illuminate general principles with compassion. After several rounds of this we got onto personal stories and I learnt about the incidents that brought us to meeting. Bitter, strange, and hilarious tales. He missed three buses home while we spoke.

Then I excused myself and walked along Rundle Mall.

- Past two plainclothes police busting three youngsters;
- Past a crowd of workmates, all male, who had gone to dinner together;
- Past the window of a shop where I admires the glistening elegant leather man-bag;
- Past Mick and Roy, a gay couple whom I had last met on the train arguing bitterly with one another

In this way I walked down to Rundle Street East to my favorite café, Al Frescoes, and a nice guy invited me to drink my coffee with him sharing the heater at one of the outside tables. His name was Ben, and we talked about geek stuff. After my first coffee and half a second, he left, allowing me to do the written work of the curriculum I’m engaged in at the moment for half an hour.

Out of twenty one questions I answered twenty, and the last one I still need to do before I sleep. I am half way through the curriculum, and it has taken two years to get here.

Feeling good, I walked briskly up to King William Road through chilly empty streets. On the bus home I sat under the light and wrote a prayer expressing my hopes and dreams and sense of anticipation for the good things coming to me. Then I planned my day tomorrow, and I was home.

I walked across South Road and down behind the stationery shop and down to the train tracks where I picked some fresh rosemary and put it in my pocket.

At home I petted Shakti my Siamese, emptied my pockets and bags, and plugged my laptop to the power. I read online interviews with Kim Stanley Robinson for half an hour before my stomach said hello. I drank three glasses of water but the tummy wanted food.

So I heated grapeseed oil in a nonstick frypan and threw in the hand-rubbed rosemary and hand-rubbed mixed herbs. A sweet smell rose. I leaned over, inhaled, and felt great.

I added chopped garlic, ginger , ground black pepper and half an onion. As it all simmered down nicely I put on a pot of hot tap water and added oil, salt, fetuccini pasta and pre-soaked borlotti beans from the fridge. (I had forgotten I soaked the last of my borlottis two days ago and the discovery was sweet because borlottis cook fast. Not quite as fast as the pasta, which would be a bit too soft, but fast enough to cook in the pot with the pasta without reducing the fetuccini to fudge.)

Then I took the frypan off the heat and added two spoonfuls of basil pesto that hissed gently and stuck to the translucent onion.

Soon the fetuccini and borlottis were soft. I drained the graywater and threw them into the rosemary sauce and mixed them through and through. I sat down in front of the heater with Kim Stanley Robinson's 'Blue Mars' to read for company while I ate.



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